It's not necessarily the amount or ratio of political discussion to other threads...it's how those threads are couched.
The terms "Christian" and "Conservative" are bandied by a lot of people as if they're derogatory terms. I don't really call myself either of those things but conversations here have become incredibly polarized and almost bigoted against those who do call themselves those things. People in general who voice opinions on the right are often belittled for it and I'm not okay with that, regardless of whether I agree with those people or not.
I'm not speaking of one person or group in particular, I just get the overall notion that if you're not liberal, a democrat, or want to s*** all over Christianity you're going to be intimidated to not speak up at all and I can't agree with a climate that is largely trending in that direction. Even if I disagree with someone who is speaking from a conservative, republican, or Christian opinion, which observably has happened on this very site...I've argued extensively in threads from a liberal view and a conservative one.
But lately...when I've had views that are more to the right...I've felt pretty dissuaded from having anything to do with conversations that those views are related to. Recently, you asked me to nix a comment you made about abortion and pro lifers because you didn't have the time or energy to get into a long discussion about it. Which I get...there was nothing wrong with that and I didn't have a problem with it. I got it. No issue there and I didn't think less of you for it. But largely, I get the impression that people on the conservative side end up feeling that way about most if not all discussions here. So they make small, flippant comments and get called idiotic for it. And all the discussions turn into "Hooray for the left" rallies where everyone involved just agrees with each other and calls anyone who disagrees stupid in some way or another.
It's boring as hell.
One could argue that maybe there aren't a lot of people to the right of the aisle around here that offer a substantial or high quality amount of conversation but...honestly, why would there be? Why would an intelligent, articulate person with conservative opinions look through the threads here and bother to make an account and participate after seeing the way those opinions are treated?
I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that TFS is a lot smaller a community than it once was and there isn't as diverse a crowd or as many in a discussion at any given time.
I don't know what the answer is but I don't see it changing for the better and that makes me sad.
Okay, I’ll address this with three points.
The first is the most important: Not only has this forum always clearly had a liberal slant, this forum’s most active members at the present have a liberal, or at least anti-Trump, slant. This will translate into an appearance of an mob-cleansed echo chamber with only a few active members overall, but it is far from anything intentional like that. It’s just the makeup and there is nothing that can be done about that. The unfortunate thing is that when someone from the right tries to make a case, that person will be surrounded by the presence of these others, and, as a result, eventually feel as if he is being personally attacked. How can he not? I would. In actuality though, he is not being attacked, but just finding that everyone here is disagreeing with him. Nothing more.
The second is this: Although I think the current active members here are pretty good at refraining from doing so, unlike the past on here, sometimes discussions that are political in nature and Christian in nature (which, whether one wants to admit it or not, is highly political as well in today’s climate due to involvement in social issues), will get a little heated, and, therefore, personal at times (although, again, it isn’t very heavy here, from what I’ve seen, compared to the past or compared to other forums). This is to be expected. It gets this way because unlike, say, a debate about the quality of ending of Game of Thrones, politics deals with people and policies that directly affect our everyday lives. ToS even recognized and addressed this by saying, “Rules regarding namecalling and personal attacks may be enforced less strictly in the Politics forum and its subforums. Political discussions obviously get heated, if you can't handle that, stay out.” I don’t know what can be done about this other than banning all political discussion because it is its nature.
The third is this: I will be the first to admit myself, that as much as I really do try and keep all discussions civil and to the topic rather than at the person, I have lashed out at a poster on here on occasion - but even at those times, I strictly attack that person’s forum actions and not him personally. But the fact of the matter is, I will not apologize for it, and do feel it is deserved. When people take large amounts of time and effort to present passioned opinion pieces on an issue or politician and then get trolled with YouTubes of Mary Poppins songs or “no u” retorts, clearly with the intent of getting the other person angrier, rather than addressing the topic or not engaging at all, then OF COURSE it is to be expected that passions will fly a bit more in response. Then, if that is not enough, to hide behind locked journal entries complaining about being “attacked”, and getting mods on his side, to me, seems rather akin to a child throwing taunts at a classmate who is doing his/her best at ignoring those taunts and then running to hide behind an adult when that classmate finally lashes back. While I do my best to ignore this person, I am only human and will lash back eventually when trolled in this manner, and will certainly not fail to stand up for myself when it gets to this (which I feel I need to do here). ToS 3.21 and 3.32. (Note that I do not behave in this way towards anyone else who is from the other side, and, in fact, really do enjoy the dialogue with the likes of Bob and others.)
Combine the three points above, and I think this is pretty much the picture of what is going on. If it is in the opinion of the moderators or even the majority of others that I am in the wrong here, and that I am more at fault for all of it than I feel I am, that is fine, I will stop posting. I will not apologize for it though, because I don’t feel that I need to.